Do You Know Your AQ?

By Stoltz, Paul G. | Workforce, December 1998 | Go to article overview

Do You Know Your AQ?


Stoltz, Paul G., Workforce


Use "adversity quotients" to assess which employees will best survive and succeed at the workplace.

What does it take to succeed in life? Why do some entrepreneurs succeed no matter what obstacles are thrown in their path, while others surrender and see their dreams crushed by adversity? Why do some people-given equivalent assets and opportunities-soar to new heights, while others just give up? In the final analysis, what accounts for this discrepancy?

According to business consultant Paul G. Stoltz, it all comes down to a person s Adversity Quotient, or AQ. More significant than IQ (intelligence quotient), education or social skills, AQ measures your ability to prevail in the face of adversityand the good news is that AQ can be increased dramatically and quickly. Below is an excerpt from Stoltz' book Adversity Quotient-Turning Obstacles into Opportunities (John Wiley & Sons Inc., 1997).

Redefining success.

Life is like mountain climbing. Fulfillment is achieved by relentless dedication to the ascent, sometimes slow, painful step, by slow, painful step.

Scaling the mountain is an indescribable experience, one only fellow climbers can understand and share. Amid the relief, satisfaction and exhaustion is a sense of joy and peace as rarified as the mountain air. Only the climber tastes this sweet success. Those who stay encamped may be justified, as well as warmer and safer, but never will they feel "on purpose," as alive, as proud and as joyful. Success can be defined as the degree to which one moves forward and upward, progressing in one's lifelong mission, despite all obstacles or other forms of adversity.

What is AQ?

This work builds upon the landmark research of dozens of top scholars and more than 500 studies from around the world. Drawing from three major sciences: cognitive psychology, psychoneuroimmunology, and neurophysiology, Adversity Quotient embodies two essential components of practical concept-scientific theory and real-world application.

The result of 19 years of research and 10 years of application is a major breakthrough in our understanding of what it takes to succeed. Your success in your work and in life is largely determined by your Adversity Quotient (AQ).

AQ tells you how well you withstand adversity and your ability to surmount it.

AQ predicts who will overcome anxiety adversity and who will be crushed.

AQ predicts who will exceed expectations of their performance and potential and who will fall short.

AQ predicts who gives up and who prevails.

AQ takes three forms. First, AQ is a new conceptual framework for understanding and enhancing all facets of success. It builds upon a substantial base of landmark research, offering a practical, new combination of knowledge that redefines what it takes to succeed.

Secondly, AQ is a measure of how you respond to adversity. Unchecked, these subconscious patterns are yours for life. Now, for the first time, they can be measured, understood and changed. You [can] calculate and interpret your AQ.

Finally, AQ is a scientifically-grounded set of tools for improving how you respond to adversity and, as a result, your overall personal and professional effectiveness. You [can] apply these skills to yourself, others and your organizations.

The combination of these three elements-new knowledge, the measure and practical tools-is a complete package for understanding and improving a fundamental component of your daily and lifelong ascent.

Beyond the individual.

AQ begins with, but goes beyond the individual. You will discover that the theory, measure and tools [described in the book] can be used to enhance the effectiveness of:

Teams

Relationships

Families

Organizations

Communities

Cultures

Societies.

As you will discover, AQ can be used readily in your family, relationships and organization.

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